Turtle and Two Girls
Sun-glossed blunt head of a turtle over water.
My two daughters stand at the grassy verge
and wonder: size, age, power of the creature
at ease in the middle of its world and breathing
the same lush early autumnal air as they do
with their tall bodies, pale legs, rapt faces.
Keeping taut gazes fixed on the turtle head,
they wait its next move — which is simply
to sink into one of its elements, native as it is
to earth and water, ambivalently at home in
flickering weed-green depths or wind-shaken
grass, the way a mystery may show itself
then sink from sight, dreamlike, disappearing
into the busy whirl we have to live in as
these two girls have to turn back now to what
they were at before this swimmer into their ken
connected — one jogging home, the other sitting
to get lost, again, in the book she was reading.
The Gettysburg Review